The Kentucky Department of Education has recognized 11 schools and districts for identifying and sharing best practices through the department’s Best Practices website.

During the Continuous Improvement Summit in Louisville this week, each school or district was publicly recognized and awarded a $500 check that can be used toward school improvement.

“We have some terrific work going on in our schools and districts,” said Education Commissioner Terry Holliday. “The Best Practice website is a way to share work that not only recognizes those engaged in it, but also allows others in the state to learn from it and improve their practice in support of student learning and college/career-readiness for all our students.”

Those schools, districts and initiatives recognized are:

Bardstown City Schools — “Utilizing a Rewards Program to Capitalize on Common District Expenditures”

  • This practice involves using a credit card rewards program to earn points to be used to purchase items or cash donations to the non-profit Bardstown Foundation for Excellence in Public Education.
  • To date, this best practice has generated in excess of $12,000.

Butler County Public Schools — “Energy Management”

  • This practice uses Energy Performance Contracts to reduce utility costs.
  • Butler County is operating 40 percent more efficiently as a result of this practice.

The Phoenix Academy (Clark County) — “Employability Performance Monitoring System”

  • This system teaches, encourages and monitors social behaviors and college- and career-skills among students that are essential to them being successful in academic, social and work environments.

Fern Creek Traditional High School (Jefferson County) — “Student Progress Monitoring: Effectively
Driving Instruction”

  • This practice gives students the opportunity to track their own progress and provides teachers with the data necessary to make instructional changes and design individual interventions to ensure all students are college- and career-ready.

Jefferson County Public Schools –“Embedding PLCs Into the School Day”

  • Through the PLC or professional learning community, teachers are able to learn the skills and techniques necessary for reaching every child.
  • This design offers more detailed and a wider variety of instructional strategies for teachers to use.

Thomas Jefferson Middle School (Jefferson County) — “Student Centered Learning: Living the Vision”

  • This best practice aims to develop systemic, capacity-building professional learning at school and classroom levels to ensure student-centered instruction in each classroom and improved student learning.

“Job Embedded Professional Learning for New Staff”

  • This practice aims at strengthening and developing instructional and classroom-management practices so that those new to the school experience success through offering students a high-quality education.
  • It provides a student-centered environment where relationships are instrumental in the delivery of lessons planned around clear objectives, focused on student engagement and authentic feedback.

Lawrence County High School — “Walk Through Calibration”

  • This daily walk-through process provides continuous improvement for teachers that will have an immediate benefit for students by requiring administrators to provide individual coaching/feedback and next steps for each teacher.

Leslie County High School— “Data Notebooks”

  • Teachers use collected data to determine what each class and each student needs to continue to meet their goals.
  • The premise is that student success is multiplied when students understand their own strengths and weaknesses, and use this understanding to set goals.

Madison County Schools — “Maximizing Title I Funds”

  • This practice changes purchasing using Title I funds by identifying schools, reviewing funding, comparing costs and changing purchasing and funding processes to promote saving thousands of dollars.

Pulaski County Schools — “Classroom as a Learning System”

  • This practice serves as a tool for continuous improvement and meeting the goals of the Kentucky Core Academic Standards by promoting high student achievement as a product of engagement, clear direction and ongoing evaluation and improvement in the classroom learning system.

Any Kentucky teacher, school or district may submit a best practice for consideration.  A team of content experts reviews the submission against standards for school improvement and rates it Beginning, Developing, Proficient and Advanced.  Feedback is provided to strengthen the submitted initiative and accepted practices are added to the Best Practices website for others to access as a means of improvement.